By Tshirt 12 Comments
I've been watching the Persona 4 Endurance run (again) and something the guys mention during Yukiko's shadow really got me thinking. Basically, Vinny talks about how he's read that this boss is the hardest in the game and he thinks that this could be because of your lack of options at that point in the game, this got me thinking.
Now I'm a big fan of JRPG's, I've played a lot from a variety of different franchises and not all of them suffer from this but I've found that as the game goes on they generally get easier rather than harder, take Persona 4 for example. throughout the game there are enemies which will take your party down to low health very quickly, early on, supposedly the easier part of the game, you have very few options, you can cast Dia on everyone for ~50 hp a piece but later in the game that is no problem, you cast a Mediarahan and everyone is instantly topped off, doesn't this seem backward? Why in the 'easier' half of the game are you finding it harder to stay alive than at the end?
Of course as the game goes on you level up, get higher S.Links and aquire more powerful personas though you'd think the enemies would scale that much quicker than you to compensate but they generally don't, instead you get more options with buffs, status effects, personas and items than you'd ever have early on.
I find that an early boss is usually the hardest in the game for exactly this reason, ever play Suikoden 1? That zombie dragon you meet right before you get your castle is one of the toughest early bosses I can think of and lack of options is exactly the reason, you get 2 new party members which you're forced to use that are fairly useless and you're too early in the game to have access to any significant rune powers to help you out.
Maybe it's just me, maybe this genre just doens't need to follow the standard difficulty curve to be enjoyable, for me personally I play JRPG's for the story and fighting can sometimes just get in the way of that so making it easier as I go can be a blessing. Maybe people really enjoy just feeling how powerful their characters are by the end and simply expect to roll through enemies.
Maybe a controversial idea but what would you think about a game that started you off with the most powerful spells and equipment and as you went you slowly got weakened as the enemies did to keep strategy a priority instead of relying on your Knights of the Round x4 to win every fight for you?
Like I glazed over earlier, this doesn't apply to all games, and it certainly doesn't diminish any enjoyment I get out of these games, just a thought I was having.